Over priced


As a sushi lover, and food in general I prefer to rate establishments on the over all experience.

Kenichi gets talked about a lot because it is downtown, trendy, and has a nice interior. The sushi there would be in my top 5 within Austin. It sits at 5 due to price of the sushi for the actual quality. What will keep Kenichi at this rating is the fact that last time I was there, I had ordered Bookers on the rocks, which is an exspensive whiskey, to go with my meal. The drink usually runs $8 to $12 per glass. When the bill arrived I was shocked to find the following charge on the bill.

$0.50 for ice

Now, where I come from this is "low rent", charging someone for ice in a rocks drink is completely unreasonable. I would rather see the drink cost be $12 instead of $8, and not see the seperate/pathetic $0.50 charge on my bill.

This of course is all just my $0.50 worth of ranting.

by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 2003-10-25 09:38
yea, i got totally reamed at kenichi as well.....i asked the waitress for hot sake and she said "what kind?"...and i said whatever, b/c usually hot sake is only the cheaper sakes (pure cold being the best)....anyway , after a terrible meal and 3 sakes my bill came back with each sake at an astounding $50!!!!!......so, bad food, just aps, ...and my total bill was $300 bucks......this is the biggest bs place in town. :evil:

by mcap on Fri, 2003-11-07 17:10
A friend of mine (who also happens to be a sushi chef) was a victim of the $50 hot sake scam at Kenichi as well. When he complained, the front house manager recognized him. They didn't take it off the bill, but promised "to take care of him next time."

by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 2003-11-08 10:15
All self-respecting austinites need to run these assholes out of town. Kenichi is a scummy scam artist of a restaurant and they need to be shut down.

by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 2004-01-05 23:36
Thing is.....ya'll dont know wtF ya'll are talkin about....this is the truth? Are u a sushi chef? wha..NO? Kenichi is by far the best restaurant. Why? They have the best fish..they can afford it. They have the best kitchen food...executive chef Shane Stark graduated from CIA NYC...for those of u who don't know what this is..it is the best culinary school in the USA. They have the best customer service you can get from any sushi bar. Its cost a bit more...but its worth every penny. The sushi chefs have all been HEAD chefs elsewhere. And trust me, they are badass. I've been to many sushi bars..and Kenichi has the best chefs....hands down. Yes, celebs come in all the time like Tommy Lee Jones, Sandra Bullock, the Presidents wife and daughters, Billy Bob Thorton, Dennis Quaid. Yes, other high class restuarant chefs come in to eat also and to compare. Think or say wut u will, but Kenichi is the best sushi bar in Austin.

by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 2004-01-06 12:18
I didn't know I had to be a sushi chef to know wtf I'm talking about. I thought being a sushi eater would have cut it. I don't see how Kenichi can have "the best customer service" if they heat up $50 bottles of sake. Maybe heating up expensive sake is something those LA celeb types do and it just hasn't made it out here to us in the sticks yet.

by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 2004-01-07 00:32
.....hum. how do u know wut good sushi is? Are u an expert w/ fish quality? Do u KNOW how to make good sushi rice..the tecniques behind it, the rice vinegar mixture....U dont HAVE to be a sushi chef, BUT being one that I am....I KNOW good sushi. I KNOW how to make good rice. I KNOW what part of the fish is good and what isn't and I KNOW Kenichi has the best fish, chefs, and service. If u wanna whine about the price..go eat somewhere else. The pplz that come to eat there come for the quality. Its called fine dining.

by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 2004-01-08 15:27
Soloman, I agree with you - to an extent. Kenichi has the "best" fish...however, so do many other sushi bars in town. The "best" is a term that can only describe the highest quality of fish - it cannot be used to compare one restaurant's fish against another - especially if they buy from the same or equal source. You obviously work for, or are associated with, Kenichi. Get over it...we all know that Kenichi is very overpriced for what you get. You only go there if you are more interested in being seen than eating sushi. Put it this way...if my Japanese professor (from Tokoyo) won't go there, it doesn't say much about the place.

by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 2004-01-12 22:41
Just because ur JAP professor doesnt go somewhere doesnn't mean its not good. hhaha. I agree ...the food at Kenichi is a bit over priced, but your paying for hot girls, good food, and the environment. yes, pplz go there to be seen...but its wuts in. Other places wish actors n actresses will go to their sushi bar...but they dont. They go to Kenichi.

by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 2004-01-12 23:16
people who work at kenichi are all alcoholics and on drugs...even one of the owners bill reiger was banned from the place for this....the man KENICHI that the f***ing place is named after went back to colorado and wants nothing to do with the bogus place....no one at kenichi has ever been a head sushi chef.....the place is a rip off on all fronts....beware everyone in austin...do not go there....bad food, bad people, its all superficial crap.....

by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 2004-01-13 10:38
True, just because my Japanese professor won't go someplace doesn't mean the food is not good......I never said that Kenichi's sushi wasn't good....just that it is overpriced. If you just want great sushi, go anywhere but Kenichi. If you want great sushi, but are also willing to pay a lot more just to sit next to a celeb, or oggle at a hot waitress, then by all means go to Kenichi.

by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 2004-02-02 15:34
I agree that Kinichi has good fish but I also like rolls and I don't really care for the rolls there. I'm a simple person, I like simple rolls. Don't put odd types of veggies, etc.

by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 2004-02-04 15:14
Well, I can see that a lot of people that have gone to Kenichi have most likely built the place up so much that its impossible to live up to those standards. I've been lucky enough to go to quite a few sushi bar's because of a fairly wealthy buddy of mine who doesn't like to eat alone so why not right? Which also puts me outside the price factor since all I care about is good food and good fun. I have noticed that Kenichi is very specific about atmosphere. The staff there is extemely professional. Well groomed, very Austin. The decor is modern. Yes, celebs do come in quite often. I have probably been to 7 different sushi restaurants in Austin(Origami, Kyoto, Kenichi, Musashino, Kimchi, Korea Garden, Sushi Sake). These have all had first rate sushi. I believe I have an idea of good sushi. I'm sure everyone has their favorites. My favorite is Origami( Round Rock). Its quiet, the sushi chef (I forget his name) was very funny and cordial, and the sushi was excellent. He recommended coming in on Thursdays as that is when the fresh fish comes in. We came in again that following Thursday and it was impressive. Worth the miles up north. The reason I pick this place over Kenichi is because I could care less about the celeb's that come in or whether or not I can "be seen". If you are taking a date out, or just family, Origami wins because its not only the best sushi I've had but also because its convenient. No long waits, friendly staff (And owner) and fresh fish. Not a thing wrong with the place. I've been there roughly 5 times now. Enough rambling!

by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 2004-02-07 19:30
What really turns me off about the place is bill reiger. If you want to support the [color=red][slanderous remarks deleted by site editor][/color] go to Kenichi. [color=red]Site Editor's Note: Folks, if we don't refrain from slanderous personal attacks then I will have to turn off anonymous posting, capiche?[/color]

by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 2004-02-11 00:17
[quote="Random Nobody"] I have probably been to 7 different sushi restaurants in Austin(Origami, Kyoto, Kenichi, Musashino, Kimchi, Korea Garden, Sushi Sake). These have all had first rate sushi. I believe I have an idea of good sushi. I'm sure everyone has their favorites. [/quote] You better quit dissing the dirty south and go to Uchi and Umi. Uchi on off nights or Umi on Friday, Saturday.. unless you want to wait an hour and a half at Uchi. I only eat Nigiri and Sashimi so I don't know about rolls.. but the fish is great. In my opinion, Kenichi is crap. I feel the decor is ugly (Uchi is much more stylish). The food was blase. As far as I'm concerned, price doesn't matter.. Sushi is expensive, but it better be good. Just drive two miles south down Lamar and go to Uchi. It's much better looking with great music and wonderful sushi and nice unfiltered sake. On a side note, if the head sushi chef at Kenichi studied in NYC (as that one charming fellow mentioned), then that's a joke.. he should study in Japan if you want to be pretentious about it. Umi is pretty cool.. sort of funky with odd music and pink fluorescent lights. The chefs are nice too.. there's this one hispanic looking guy with a pompadour (I may be exagerrating a bit). And, the sake (salmon) sashimi is great. My only complain might be that they cut the fish way too big. I admit, this may be a plus to some. p

by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 2004-02-13 16:24
A sushi bar from aspen sounds like trouble to me ... not much of a fan of the "aspen" scene.

by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 2004-07-27 21:19
[quote]The sushi chefs have all been HEAD chefs elsewhere[/quote]WTF are you talking about? I KNOW two of them and they haven't been head chefs. Thats like some moron who told me that all of the waiters at Perry's or some other place had to have GM experience to be waiters. Riiight.. Kenichi is ok, but its not anywhere close to Musachino or Uchi. And before you ask whether or not I am a sushi chef, I'm not. Having said that, I have eaten at Nobu in Ny and Vegas plenty of times as well as Matsuhisa in LA (beverly hills) every time I am in LA. These are the most famous and arguably the best sushi places in the United states. Not to mention I have had Sushi caught THAT day in Isreal and Mexico. My point is that I know sushi as well as any of you and I have eaten it all over the planet on 3 continents. as far as the waitstaff at Kenichi being on drugs - EVERY waitstaff is on drugs... you didn't know that?

by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 2004-07-28 15:43
A couple things need to be cleared up about all this dissing on Kenichi. First off, the $.50 up charge for ice is untrue. Although it does say "rocks" next to the charge, the pour is a half ounce more for on the rocks drinks. All one had to do was ask about the charge. So the management is just stupid about how they label charges. Next, if you order a bottle of hot sake, you are not going to get the house, which is only served in a pitcher because it comes out of a bag. The most popular bottle of sake that many people enjoy heated is the Black and Gold. The others are generally served at room temp or chilled. So if you just ask for a bottle of whatever heated, you will get that. Just read the sake menu. If you ask for a pitcher of house, you will get it, and it will be served hot by default. Next, Shane did go to NYC's CIA. He is not a sushi chef, but the chef of the pan-Asian restaurant. Rob is unfortunately the head sushi chef, though his assistant David is better. Yes, they are all drunks there. (Shane spends most of his time at the bar drinking and trying to "date" the female employees.) The waitstaff had become something of a mercenary group. They have evolved into a terrible group of pick pockets. BEWARE, the waiters will sneak a double grat on large parties. They don't mark it on the bill. It is a hidden charge in the itemization. That goes on a lot now. The sushi is no longer the best stuff. That should be obvious to any sushi eaters. As for the celebs. It is not like it used to be. And yes, Billy is a tremendous substance abuser. He is undergoing rehab again at taxpayer expense. The management there openly talks about his problems, which I find to be weird. The place is devoid of integrity. New management has just made things worse. BUT all that make for an interesting place. Of course to charge top dollar for it is ludicrous. To pay it, is just plain stupid. The bar is awesome though.

by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 2004-09-03 09:45
The real trouble with ALL sushi places in Austin is that they are WAY WAY overpriced. I've never seen sushi so frickin expensive anywhere. Whats up with that?? And dont give me the "fresh fish is expensive" bull.

by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 2004-09-03 12:09
The quality of fish at Kenichi is no better than the majority of other sushi houses. The sushi chefs at Kenichi are full of themselves. Maybe two of them are any good. The place is too expensive. The attitude and arrogance is too much also. It is a party scene. The employees there party. That is alright, as long as it is not at the customer's expense. Unfortunately, the last couple of times I was there, it was at our expense. One waitress kept complaining how slow it was and how it wasn't worth it to come in on Friday nights. Then she says how lately the customers are cheap. Yes, she said that well within earshot of me! How does that make me feel! The arrogance! It used to be a really good, even if expensive, experience. My favorite waiter, who was the head guy, and bartender, who also was the bar manager, have long since left. That says something! I found that if you complain, the new manager will do something about it though. One more thing. They charge an outrageous 18% service charge for to go orders.

by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 2005-11-28 15:33
:x I have to chime in on the Kenichi discussion. I moved here a year ago from San Diego and Kenichi wouldn't last one weekend there. Anyway, it is located downtown and has a trendy atmosphere so it gets talked up -- although if I had my way everyone would boycott this awful place. Their sushi is just okay and yes, it's very overpriced. I can deal with that. What I can't deal with is being treated like the scum of the earth. I've been to Kenichi several times and have always gotten the same cool treatment (as if the staff doesn't realize they are a mediocre sushi joint in AUSTIN, not LA or New York). But the icing on the cake was my recent visit to Kenichi on my birthday in October. This happened to be the same night at a World Series game and a UT game. I made reservations a MONTH in advance. My original number was 10. As the date got closer I had a couple of cancellations so out of courtesy I called to reduce my number to 8 ... on the day before my birthday I was down to 6. When I checked in at the host station I told them that my party consisted of 3 but two more people would be joining me (keep in mind I never readjusted my number from 6) and so they showed us to a table designed for 4. I told them that I did have two more people coming. They said "no problem." Then the manager stops by and takes away the remaining empty chair. I told HIM that I had two more people joining us and he said "no problem." After waiting for 20 minutes without any drink service, my boyfriend approached the manager and asked him if we could have a drink order taken. After another 10 minutes our server approached and said he didn't take our order earlier because he saw that we were talking and didn't want to disturb us. Hello! Of course we were talking ... that's what you DO in a restaurant. Anyway, since it was so busy it took ANOTHER 20 minutes to get a drink. And we hadn't even had our FOOD order taken. As everyone knows ... when you go out for sushi, you don't necessarily order every roll and piece of sushi all at once. We ordered two rolls and some nigiri. My sister ordered a regular entree. It took at least 30 minutes to get our sushi -- and another 20 for my sister to get her entree. My other two guests showed up and we had to find our own chairs for them. We told our waiter we would like to order more food (since we were still very hungry and our guests hadn't eaten dinner). The manager came over to our table and actually lectured us! He said that he "could not" let us order more food! He said he needed our table! I reminded him of all we had been through and that we would not have been there as long as we had if the service had not been so slow ... but alas we were asked to leave!!! He bought two of our drinks and thought that was enough for ruining my birthday dinner--my two friends who showed up didn't get to eat and I left hungry. We ended up going next door to Noodism. I will NEVER, EVER return to Kenichi and urge everyone to steer clear of this stuck up, pathetic excuse for an "authentic" Japanese restaurant ... they really need to get a clue (the Japanese actually respect their customers, I used to live there so I'd know).